Budget 2017 marks the second chapter in our government’s plan to grow Canada’s middle class, make smart investments in the economy and build infrastructure that will transform our city.
Of particular note to our community, the Government of Canada has committed to partnering with the other levels of government to build all 22 light rail stations that make up Stage 2 of Ottawa’s LRT—including the extension to Trim Road in Orléans. Support for the Trim extension was a measure I campaigned on. Along with Orléans provincial and municipal representatives, I am proud to see this transformative project named in Budget 2017.
Several new supports for our veterans were unveiled along with a pledge to present the framework of a new lifelong disability pension for ill and injured veterans this fiscal year. We have also fulfilled a key promise to our men and women in uniform, past and present, by establishing a new Veterans’ Education and Training Benefit to provide between $40,000 and $80,000 to all eligible veterans who have been honourably released. In addition, we have added new support for veterans’ caregivers, augmented Military Family Resource Centres to support veterans, set aside funds to create a Centre of Excellence on PTSD and related mental health conditions, and started a new Veterans Emergency Fund to help veterans in unique and urgent need.
To help Orléans families navigate the challenges that come with starting a family, our government has made a substantial investment to expand the flexibility of Employment Insurance caregiving, parental and maternity benefits to meet their different needs. Starting next year, we have also committed $7 billion over 10 years to support and create more high-quality affordable child care spaces—something many Orléans residents have told me they wanted to see. These measures will help give parents and their kids the best chance for success.
Last summer, I hosted a town hall on seniors’ health. At that meeting I heard clearly that seniors felt that current home care supports were inadequate. In partnership with the Province of Ontario, we will be investing $6 billion over 10 years in expanded home care services. This will allow seniors who would prefer to receive their medical care at home or in a community-based setting to be able to do so.
Another item in this year’s budget that we can all be proud of is the creation of a new Community Heroes Benefit. This new fund will recognize the special place public safety officers play in our society by supporting the families of those who have fallen in the line of duty.
With this budget, our Government will continue to uphold our promise to help middle class families and create opportunities for all Canadians.